Peter Hudson was a Bussey Building resident for three years, sharing with many different artists in that time. His installations have travelled to some of England’s most notable art galleries such as Tate St Ives and London’s Wellcome Collection. We caught up with him to discuss some of his favourite projects, both from his time here, and since leaving.

How long were you based in the Bussey Building?

I was at Bussey for over 3 years. I moved into a studio on the ground floor soon after graduating from the Royal College of Art. I was sharing with Eleanor Wemyss at the time, a talented drawing artist who’d been at Bussey for a few years already. It was quite an unusual space, but beautiful and bright and I loved it from the first moment I walked in.

Did you share the studio?

I’ve shared my studio with a whole host of wonderful artists and designers, but most recently with Lorna Allan, art director and founder of Hidden Women of Design. Sharing a space is really important to me as I love to bounce ideas around. Sometimes I just need to say things out loud for them to be real. It’s great to be in an environment where you can talk to people.

Tell us about your art?

I make interactive installations, often involving electronics. I’m fascinated with the mechanics of interpersonal communication and have created installations that explore the way we express ourselves, and how this is mediated by technology. I work a lot with light and video, because of their ephemeral nature and ability to alter the way we experience space and image. I try to create work that is direct, and able to be understood experientially. It’s important to me that anyone of any age or ability can meaningfully experience it.

What is your background? You seem to have a great knowledge of technology.

My background is actually in music. I used to compose and produce music for television, and perform and teach the ukulele. I started my arts education later than most, beginning an Art and Design Foundation at Camberwell College of Arts at 26 years old. I went on to study BA Graphic Design, then happened to do a Processing workshop while on Erasmus in France. I’d always loved using computers, for playing games as a kid and later producing music, but had never programmed anything. For me, this opened a world of possibilities for exploring interactivity.

What is your most ambitious project to date?

My most ambitious project was probably Eye Contact. It was by far the biggest project I’d ever undertaken. It was the first time working as an artist within such a renowned institution as the Wellcome Collection. I had to source and work with engineers, film 70 participants and design/build the display itself, which was 24m wide. It was a logistical marathon! Eye Contact was exhibited for over a year on Euston Road in the Wellcome Collection windows. Realising the project wasn’t without its stresses, but seeing it completed gave me the confidence to think big.

What project are you most proud of?

The work I’m most proud of is In Colour which was an interactive and immersive light installation and solo show at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton. It was also the first opportunity I’d had to develop a project with people with complex needs, at an incredible organisation in Hastings called Project Art Works. Working in collaboration with their artists and artist support workers was a huge privilege and taught me a lot. I was really happy to have created a work that both explored and expressed the ways that art is produced there.

Where has In Colour travelled to since?

I recently had the honour of exhibiting at Tate St Ives. This was a chance to develop and hone In Colour since its first outing in 2017. It’s naturally a site-specific artwork, and the two rooms/spaces I was given at Tate St Ives were very different from each other, so it was an interesting challenge to adapt the work there.

Is interacting with people an important part of your work?

Absolutely. Almost all of my work centres around interactivity. I see the projects I make as frameworks for shaping human interactions and playing them back to people. It’s a way of creating broad and engaging work that’s open to interpretation and has an accessible intellectual entry point. Opportunities for interaction are more and more common in everyday life, so it’s only natural for it to be explored in art too.

What’s coming up next?

I’m currently working towards a far larger version of Eye Contact for a public space in Bristol, and In Colour is due to be developed and exhibited again this year. I’m also back in the studio working on new projects.

Find out more about Peter Hudson here.